Initial Jobless Claims totaled 366k, about in line with expectations of 365k and was little changed with last week at 364k. The Labor Dept said the last two weeks have been free of the summer auto shutdown issues which is encouraging in that at 366k, its 16k below the one year average and is now trending at the lowest levels since March. Continuing Claims were about in line, down 31k from last week and Extended Benefits fell a net 64k. Bottom line, from an employer standpoint many seem to be in a wait and see mode, reducing the level of firing’s but uncertain still in the pace of hiring’s. Separately, July Housing Starts were 10k less than expected at 746k annualized as the 27k increase in multi family starts was more than offset by the decline of 35k for single family starts. Permits for both were higher with single family up by 22k and multi family rising by 30k to just shy of the highest level since ’08. Bottom line, the positive trend in home construction will continue to be in the multi family category while single family starts continue their churn along the bottom in what will be a more bath tub like shaped recovery instead of a U.
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